“One Good Schoolmaster?” What U.S. Teachers Think about Restrictions on their Religious Expression in the Classroom
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To what extent might U.S. public schoolteachers be inclined to reject legal limitations placed on their personal religious expression at work? During school hours, they are required to present themselves as religiously neutral, as they are acting as agents of the state. Using data from an original survey of more than 5,000 public schoolteachers across the U.S., I analyze support for laws prohibiting three specific forms of religious expression in the classroom: leading group prayer, displaying religious material on classroom walls, and making assertions of religious “truth”. Findings indicate that religious affiliation and religiosity outperform ideology as predictors of teachers’ acceptance of limitations on their religious expression in the classroom. Thus, both “politics” and “religion” shape U.S. teachers’ orientations toward personal religious freedom in the classroom – but “religion” matters slightly more.
keywordsReligious freedom, religious expression, public schools, teachers, United States.
Biografia dell'autoreDepartment of Political Science, Clemson University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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